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Citadel News Service
25 Feb 2016

Presenting the Class of 2017 Summerall Guards

Cadet with prosthetic hand makes history earning slot as member of elite drill platoon

Cadet Cameron Massengale, The Citadel Summerall Guards

Cadet Cameron Massengale training for Summerall Guards tryouts (center)

Earning the title Summerall Guard is one of the highest honors that can be achieved by a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel. Each winter, cadets who are juniors endure weeks of rigorous physical training and drilling in an attempt to be named a member of the famous platoon for their senior year. The competitions for the newest guards were completed Feb. 24, and among the competitors was Cameron Massengale, who earned a place with the group, despite having lost his hand his freshman year.

Consisting of 61 members, all of the Summerall Guards were chosen for their physical stamina and drill proficiency. The platoon's purpose is to The Citadel's Summerall Guardsexemplify, through a unique series of movements based on the old German close-order drill, the exactness and thoroughness with which a cadet is trained. The drill, which has never been written down, is performed to a silent count. Each year's platoon takes responsibility for teaching the precise drill to the upcoming unit.

Massengale, who is from Greenville, South Carolina, lost his hand in an accident at a butcher shop where he worked during the summer of 2014. He was a rising sophomore at The Citadel then. Now, as a junior, he has learned to hunt and fly-fish one-handed, but the Summerall Guards rifle drills required something more.

Hanger Clinic, a nationally-known prosthetics provider, worked closely with Massengale on a series of specially developed prosthetic devices designed to help him twirl and manuever a drill rifle, making competing for the Summerall Guards a possibility.

“It’s been a very rewarding journey for both Cameron and our team at Hanger Clinic. Together we assessed the challenges Cameron faced and worked to develop custom prostheses to help him realize his goal to not only be a successful cadet, but excel to become a member of the elite Summerall Guards at The Citadel,” Hanger Clinic Area Clinic Manager Jon Nottingham, Certified Prosthetist Orthotist. "Cameron truly exemplifies the Hanger Clinic mantra of ‘Empowering Human Potential’. As long as America has young men and women like Cameron in its future who know their potential, will strengthen their resolve against adversity, and pursue their calling or passion regardless of what others believe they can or can’t do, I believe there is a bright future ahead for all of us.”

Massengale and the other 60 guards will peform publically together for the first time on Corps Day, which is March 19. The 2017 Summerall Guards will include:

Albertson, Brett Easley, South Carolina Frasier, Edward Las Vegas, Nevada Maxwell, William Jacksonville, Florida
Barker, Jacob Hanahan, South Carolina Garrett, Mason Simpsonville, South Carolina McIver, Patrick Clayton, South Carolina
Batzer, James Johns Island, South Carolina Gee, Nicholas Summerville, South Carolina Newton, Michael Simpsonville, South Carolina
Bedenbaugh, Benjamin Prosperity, South Carolina Glasser, Paul Elgin, South Carolina Noga, Nicholas New Milford, Connecticut
Bingham, John Beaufort, South Carolina Graham, Ra'Shaud Lake City, South Carolina Nuttall, Austin Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Blocker, James Summerville, South Carolina Griles, Andrew Keysville, Virginia Oliver, Devin Bluffton, South Carolina
Bourckel, Andrew Parkville, Maryland Harbol, Marcus Bothell, Washtington Pinckney, Garrett Wilmington, North Carolina
Boyce, Lawrence Waxhaw, North Carolina Hiles, John Atlanta, Georgia Poole, Jared Lexington, South Carolina
Breeden, Joshua Fort Mill, South Carolina Hombirg, Darren Commerce Township, Michigan Proveaux, Christopher Charleston, South Carolina
Bridges, Aaron Charleston, South Carolina Huertas, Jose Jacksonville, Florida Rickenbacker, Gerald Cameron, South Carolina
Brunson, John Alpharetta, Georgia Hyatt, Avery Pauline, South Carolina Ross, Clayton Portland, Oregon
Buchanan, Andrew Charleston, South Carolina Kimbrell, Forrest Beaufort, South Carolina Santa Rita, Samuel Edon, Ohio
Capps, Coleman Aynor, South Carolina Klosinski, Paul Augusta, Georgia Scaife, Joshua Jacksonville, North Carolina
Chew, Nathan Greenville, South Carolina Kot, Andrew Raliegh, North Carolina Stoneburner, Reese Wheaton, Illinois
Coleman, Stacy Marion, South Carolina Kuhn, Blaine Fort Mill, South Carolina Taylor, Cory Pelzer, South Carolina
Crosby, Anthony Wellford, South Carolina Lang, Thomas New Milford, Connecticut Vicci, Joseph Cranford, New Jersey
Dalmaso, Griffin Beaver, Pennsylvania Liljerberg, Stephen Avon Lake, Ohio Wade, Branden Pensacola, Florida
Dickson, Alexander Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Leudtke, Dillon Fayetteville, North Carolina Wilson, Andrew Columbia, South Carolina
Duly, Benjamin Fallston, Maryland MacDonald, Kevin Hilton Head, South Carolina Woodward, Evan Columbia, South Carolina
Dvorack, Joshua Portsmouth, Rhode Island Mander, Marcus North Charleston, South Carolina
Ferguson, William Greenville, South Carolina Massengale, Cameron Greenville, South Carolina

Created in 1932, the Summerall Guards have performed nationally at Disney World, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras in New Orleans and St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, Georgia. The platoon is named for General Charles P. Summerall, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Citadel president from 1931 until 1953.

In 2005, the Summerall Guards made their fourth appearance at a presidential inaugural parade. The Guards also participated in the inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, Ronald Reagan in 1985 and George H.W. Bush in 1989.

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